This article will help you reduce the amount of data in your backup account. First, review the different types of data (current, historical, deleted) and the tools available for looking at detailed disk usage information here. Based on the steps described in that article, identify if you need to reduce the amount of current data, historical data, or deleted data. We provide strategies below for reducing each type of data below.
Reducing the Amount of Current Data
Current data is data from files on your computer that are part of your backup set. You can reduce the amount of current data by excluding files from your backup set and then turning on the 'Destroy Excluded Files' option. Follow these steps:
- Start the backup manager and go to the Folders page.
- Click the Visualize! button. Visualize shows in green those files that are currently selected for backup and shows in red those files that are excluded from backup (if the files are gray that means that they are not part of a folder that is being backed up).
- Uncheck the checkboxes next to a file or directory or right click a file or directory to add exclude rules to your backup policy.
- When you have finished creating your exclude rules, you can right click and choose 'Refresh Disk Usage' to have Visualize recalculate how much data is part of the backup. The total amount of data in the backup set will be displayed at the bottom of the Visualize! dialog. When you're finished save all changes.
- Go to the Options page, Versioning tab. Make sure that the 'Destroy Excluded Files' option is turned on (checked).
- The files you have excluded that were previously backed up will be destroyed from your backup account during the next backup.
Note that advanced users can directly edit the backup policy instead of using Visualize! to do it. However, anytime you manually change the backup policy you should always use Visualize! to verify that your new policy rules are working as you expect them to work.
Reducing the Amount of Historical Data
Historical data is the information required to store the previous versions of backed up files that are still on your computer. Only the changes between files are stored and count towards the amount of historical data. Use the disk usage explorer to identify which top-level folders contain the most historical data. Typical examples include an Exchange information store or a SQL database. You can then either change how many days of versions to keep for just one (or a few) top-level folders, or you can change the global setting. For example, for a typical Small Business Server, you will want to use a long retention period (such as 1 year or 2 years) for the users' files, but only use 7 or 14 days of versions for your Exchange database and SQL databases.
To change how long to retain historical versions files for just one folder, go to the Folders page in the backup manager, right click the folder, and choose Properties. Change the 'Number of Days to Keep Historical Versions' appropriately and save your changes. To change the global options, go to the Versioning tab of the Options page and change it there.
The new versioning settings are enforced during a backup whenever a new version of a file is uploaded. If you change the global options, it gives you the choice of starting a backup job to immediately destroy all older versions. If you want to immediately enforce the new versioning settings for just a particular folder, start the File Manager, choose Destroy, select everything in that folder, click next, and on the destroy options page, choose only to destroy versions older than the desired date. Click next and wait for it to build the list of versions it will destroy. Once it has finished, confirm that it is about to destroy what you expect it to. Finally, click the Destroy button to start the destroy process. The disk usage information in the backup manager will be updated as soon as the destroy job has finished.
Reducing the Amount of Deleted Data
Deleted data are files that were backed up and then later deleted from your local computer (by the user), and are now being retained according to the versioning settings on the Versioning tab of the Options page in the backup manager. Use the disk usage explorer to identify which top-level folders contain the most deleted data. You can then either change how many days deleted files should be retained for just one (or a few) top-level folders, or you can change the global setting.
To change how long to retain deleted files for just one folder, go to the Folders page in the backup manager, right click the folder, and choose Properties. Change the 'Number of Days to Keep Deleted Files' appropriately and save your changes. To change the global options, go to the Versioning tab of the Options page and change it there.
The backup will check for and destroy old deleted data once per week. To force it to check immediately, go to the System Status page, hold down the shift key and click 'Backup Now' (while still holding the shift key) and then choose 'Destroy Deleted Data.'
If you have a directory where new files are being generated and deleted on a daily basis (e.g., a directory containing daily QuickBooks backup files) and you want to retain less than 7 days of files, please contact us and we will help you edit your backup policy to setup a policy rule to enforce this. (It involves add a policy rule that excludes files in that folder older than X days and also enables the 'destroy files excluded by this rule' option.)